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Funding to improve water security across Australia

As many as 40 new water projects are being funded by a $108 million investment from the Australian Government through the National Water Grid Connections funding pathway, with works aimed at improving water security across Australia.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the funding will support small-scale infrastructure projects proposed by states and territories.

“The National Water Grid Connections is all about driving the construction of smaller-scale projects over the next two years to provide short term economic stimulus,” Joyce said.

“The cumulative impact for the National Water Grid will be significant. Collectively, these projects are expected to support over 7000 hectares of irrigable land and connect 400 new customers. An additional 13,000 customers are expected to benefit from improved water access or reliability.

“Up to 1175 jobs will be supported during construction, with over 2550 ongoing and up to 500 more seasonal jobs set to be created nationally.”

Up to $20 million was made available for each state and territory to deliver projects, with an Australian Government contribution of up to $5 million per project.

In Queensland, the Warrens Gully System Capacity Upgrade project will include the construction of a new river pump station to enhance water services to existing customers.

Western Australia projects include infrastructure upgrades to increase water storage capacity, new water recycling systems and replacing existing pipelines.

South Australia’s projects will focus on upgrades to irrigation water delivery infrastructure and creation of groundwater recharge areas to refill aquifer and groundwater supply.

Victoria’s projects will include a new recycled water pipeline near Kyneton and upgrades to existing regional irrigation channels.

New South Wales’ package will support the construction and upgrade of new pipelines and water storage facilities to enable the expansion of the agriculture industries, provide adequate water supplies and address storage and quality issues.

Tasmania’s projects include new and extended pipelines, and new and expanding reusable water schemes to increase availability and reliability of water for agricultural producers.

And in the Northern Territory, a critical water supply network will be established to enable growth for agricultural and primary industry in the region.

Joyce said funding was allocated in the 2021-22 Federal Budget, through the $3.5 billion National Water Grid Fund, to support agricultural enterprises by increasing water availability and storage capacity.

“The best thing we can do for this country is ensure a secure future for water, our farmers and our regional communities that continue to drive our economic recovery,” he said.

“The $3.5 billion National Water Grid Fund is paving the way to national water security, while promoting local economic activity and job creation along the way.”